When you get serious about skincare, ingredients become priority number one. As a formulator, that is the way Dr. Obagi develops his products. He don’t have time to waste on the ineffective skincare, and neither do you. But we often hear women say that they just don’t know which ingredients are the real deal.
Let’s start with the anti-oxidants. They protect your skin cells from UV damage, pollution, and free radicals. The most common ones (and the most important!) are Vitamins A, C, & E.
Retinol (aka Active Vitamin A): This ingredient’s main function is skin cell turnover, which produces collagen—the stuff your skin had a lot of in its prime. If you’re familiar with the ZO skincare philosophy, then you know the key to younger-looking skin lies in keeping skin cells active. When they go to sleep—a result of aging—fine lines, dull skin, and wrinkles form. Retinol is like a bucket of cold water to sleepy skin cells. Continued use of it in high concentrations wakes cells up and puts them back to work.
Active Vitamin C: This is another antioxidant, but it works differently: it helps synthesize collagen. This property lends a very valuable feature to your skin in that it stabilizes free radicals, and in doing so protects healthy cells from getting damaged. In English? It’s an excellent preventative measure against wrinkles as well as the photoaging caused by sun exposure.
Vitamin E: It helps protect the skin from UV rays and, as an added bonus, softens and smoothes, too.
Be advised: Retinol is a pure and active derivative of Vitamin A. If you use a synthetic form of Vitamin A, or take oral supplements of these vitamins, you simply will not achieve the same results. It just doesn’t work that way. Additionally, Vitamins A and C have to be properly stabilized, packaged, and stored. They can’t be exposed to light or UV rays, as the formula might become inactive.